Acrylamide in food guidance

New guidelines have been published for acrylamide in food by Food Standards Scotland in partnership with SFELC Food Safety and Food Standards Sub Committees. 

The guidelines are intended to help authorised officers with the implementation and interpretation of Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/2158. 

Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/2158 was published following a full Scientific Opinion produced by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on the risks related to the presence of acrylamide in food, and concluded that the current level of acrylamide in food is a concern for public health

The overall aim of the Regulation is to ensure that food businesses put in place steps to mitigate acrylamide formation where practicable to ensure levels in food are As Low As Reasonably Achievable (the ALARA principle) through the application of appropriate mitigation measures by all Food Business Operators (FBOs) along the food chain. 

Acrylamide is a chemical substance formed by a reaction between amino acids and sugars, typically in foods with high starch content, when cooked at high temperatures such as in frying, roasting, toasting and baking. Acrylamide is considered to be a chemical hazard in the food chain and a probable genotoxic carcinogen in humans.

Foods that typically affected are ones that have a high starch content and are cooked at high temperatures such as frying, roasting, toasting and baking. These include French fries, potato crisps, bread and breakfast cereals. 

Article 5 of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 requires all FBOs to consider chemical contaminant hazards (e.g. acrylamide) within the scope of their Food Safety Management System (FSMS). 

Therefore, Cooksafe has also been updated and now includes an Acrylamide insert to help Food Business Operators identify and reduce acrylamide in products. It is also available in Bengali, Punjabi, Urdu and Cantonese. 

“Guidelines for Local Authorities on the Implementation of Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/2158- establishing mitigation measures and benchmarking levels for the reduction of the presence of acrylamide in food” can be accessed here.

The Cooksafe insert can be accessed here.

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